Incidents

Large Hadron Collider spreads malware

It’s nothing new for malware authors to use big news to promote their executables – social engineering tactics are used to trick users into downloading and running malicious programs.

These tactics take advantage of the interest created around certain mainstream news subjects, such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina or the US Elections. It’s now the turn of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest particle accelerator on Earth, to unwittingly help malware authors spread their creations.

While following the latest news on the LHC experiment on digg.com, I came upon an apparently ordinary comment left, of course, by an apparently ordinary user called “Edwawils1976”.

“This thing rocks!
By the way, you can watch “Large Hadron Collider” start video report at
http://***sed.com/clip/?id=Large_Hadron_Collider
Pretty interesting, isn’t it?”

The link takes the curious visitor to a page containing a fake video player, which requires the user to download some special codec or plug-in in order to play the video. This is the moment when the user is tricked into downloading and running the malicious software.

The malware served to the unknowing user varies – so far, we’ve captured a number of Trojan downloaders with different payloads, such as Trojan-Downloader.Win32.FraudLoad.vbzg and Trojan.Win32.FraudPack.fd. Of course, programs like these could be used to spread any piece of bad software, ranging from bots that transform users’ computers into zombies to rogue AV products such as XP Antivirus 2008.

So you can see that in between keeping an eye on the end of the world, we’re also constantly on the watch for new malware, and working to get this site shut down.

Large Hadron Collider spreads malware

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Reports

Lazarus targets defense industry with ThreatNeedle

In mid-2020, we realized that Lazarus was launching attacks on the defense industry using the ThreatNeedle cluster, an advanced malware cluster of Manuscrypt (a.k.a. NukeSped). While investigating this activity, we were able to observe the complete life cycle of an attack, uncovering more technical details and links to the group’s other campaigns.

Sunburst backdoor – code overlaps with Kazuar

While looking at the Sunburst backdoor, we discovered several features that overlap with a previously identified backdoor known as Kazuar. Our observations shows that Kazuar was used together with Turla tools during multiple breaches in past years.

Lazarus covets COVID-19-related intelligence

As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, some threat actors are trying to speed up vaccine development by any means available. We have found evidence that the Lazarus group is going after intelligence that could help these efforts by attacking entities related to COVID-19 research.

Sunburst: connecting the dots in the DNS requests

We matched private and public DNS data for the SUNBURST-malware root C2 domain with the CNAME records, to identify who was targeted for further exploitation. In total, we analyzed 1722 DNS records, leading to 1026 unique target name parts and 964 unique UIDs.

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